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Curb Appeal

Front Door Face Lift

Painting the front door can refresh the look of your home in just an afternoon. Learn how-to’s, the products we used, and get some color inspiration below!

Q: Do I need special paint?

“Front Door Paint” as seen on Amazon

A: We recommend a paint that is formulated for use on doors. We choose Modern Masters “Front Door Paint.” It had almost five stars on Amazon, so we felt pretty confident it would work well for our door. The paint is made by Rustoleum, and was available in a lot of fun colors. The “Calm” color performed perfectly and covered everything on a previously burgundy colored door exactly as anticipated without a primer. After painting a standard sized door with two coats plus detailing, there was more than 3/4 of the jar left over.

Q: What color should I choose?

A: Coordinate the front door color with the home’s exterior color.

Choosing colors can be tricky. Ideally, you should choose a door color that coordinates with your home’s exterior color. Visiting paint brands online, like Sherwin-Williams or Behr, is helpful for choosing colors and visualizing. Find the color of your home (or one that is similar from their paint options), and see what “coordinating color” suggestions pop up for accents. Those coordinating colors should give you a simple way to explore color options for your front door. Many paint brands’ websites allow you to upload your own photo for testing colors to make visualizing even easier.

OKAY, LET’S PAINT!

Q: What materials will I need?

For Prepping the Door:

  • Sandpaper
  • Multisurface Cleaner
  • Paper Towels
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Primer as needed (depends on your current door color)
  • Newspapers to protect floor from paint drips

For Painting:

  • Paint formulated for doors
  • Art brushes for details
  • Small roller brush
  • Paint tray
  • Paper towels/damp rag for drips and mistakes

Turn That Drab Door Fab!

  • Clean the door and frame thoroughly, ideally the day before you intend to paint – so that the area has time to dry completely before you begin. Pay special attention to cleaning and detailing the hardware like the handle and the key insert. Get them looking shiny and new so your door looks tip top when it’s finished.
  • Lightly sand any rough spots as needed for a smoother application
  • Keep in mind: If you are choosing a new door color that is lighter than your current color, (example a black door that you want to make light pink) you may need to use a door primer paint first. Primer and let dry before using the door paint.
  • Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas where the paint could bleed over: glass panes, edges, hardware, moulding, house trim, etc.
  • Use a small roller to paint the majority of the door.
  • Use art brushes to hand-paint the details/places the roller cannot get to; around handles, windows, edges, corners, etc.
  • Roller the door with a second coat after you have completed hand-painting the details. This will help to blend any brush marks.
  • Leave the door slightly open to dry* so your wet door doesn’t become painted shut or ruined where the door frame meets the door front.

PRO TIP: Paint the door in thinner even layers. Too much paint on the brush or roller leads to thick drippy layers that run before they get to dry, leaving visible streaks and drips on the door.

  • Even if you roller and paint perfectly, sometimes paint just drips. If you notice drips, use a brush fix them (scoop them up) while they are wet.
  • If the roller is slipping or paint is running, you’re probably using too much paint. Try working it into the brush or roller using the ridges of the paint pan before you paint on the door.
  • Once the door has dried, you may notice some see-through spots. Use a roller or hand brush to evenly cover those areas.

We can’t wait to see your door updates! Share your photos with us via email, and we may feature your door on our social media! @DeAnnaAndCompany

Curb Appeal

Keeping Cool with No Pool

Just because you don’t have a pool doesn’t mean you can’t create your own little back yard or patio oasis! We found all of these fun products on Amazon to keep you cool this summer.

Shade
Shade sails and umbrellas are great for giving your space a little shade and style!

Cool
Every oasis needs a little breeze. Keep yourself comfortable with a small fan. Misting fans or even those water bottle spray fans (popular at the theme parks) provide some air movement and a little cooling mist too. Cell phone fans are small enough to fit in your pocket or bag, and even though they are tiny, the small breeze still feels good in the Florida heat.

Refreshments
If you have never tried a Tervis, now is the time! These tumblers keep hot things hot and cold things cold, for hours! Even when outdoors for a while, there will still be remnants of ice cubes in the cup. Amazing!

Lounging
Relaxing is all about a great chair.
Consider a towel for your lounge chair with pockets on the sides that conveniently hold things like cell phone and books. Or if you’re a picnic blanket kind of lounger, there’s items for you too!

No Pool? No problem!
You can beat the heat with water misters or mini pools!

Tunes & More
Waterproof mini bluetooth speakers, glare protectors, and more things to make your piece of paradise more fun!
Reader sunglasses, anti glare boxes, hand free book holders, and even a device to lotion your back for you!

What kind of back yard paradise will you be creating? Share your “keeping cool with no pool” pics and finds with us on Instagram and Facebook! #DandCOol

 

Recipes

Pineapple Whiskey Sour

Note: This drink recipe contains alcohol, but you can skip the alcohol, replace it with ginger ale, or add more lemon and water for a lovely non-alcoholic drink too.

Ingredients:

1 to 2 parts whiskey of choice (depending on how strong you’d like it to be)
5 parts pineapple juice
3 parts water
1+ teaspoon sugar or honey (to taste)
1 squeeze of lemon

Directions: 

  • Combine all ingredients into shaker, add ice. Shake until sugar is dissolved.
  • Strain into sugar rimmed glass and enjoy!

How to sugar rim a glass:

  • Place 1/2″ of water or pineapple juice in small bowl that is slightly wider than your cup
  • Place a small pile of rimming or turbinado sugar crystals on a small plate or bowl
  • Turn your cup upside down and dip rim into the liquid
  • Press cup rim into the sugar – gently rolling it around as needed to pick up the sugar crystals
Home Hack

Central Florida Springs

Sometimes the best way to appreciate your home, is to get out for a day. Today we’re sharing our experiences with several springs within driving distance of Central Florida. They’re the perfect location for a day trip with family and/or friends. Let’s go!

Rock Springs (Bar and Grill)
4939 Rock Springs Rd. – Apopka, Florida
Rock Springs is a unique experience because it’s the only one where you rent big inner tubes and float down a creek. You’ll see people floating with coolers and their snacks for the day, but there’s also a little bar/restaurant along the way “Rock Springs Bar and Grill,” that is known for the most delicious hamburgers, and they rent the tubes too. Stop in to rent your tube and get a burger!

Wekiva Island
1014 Miami Springs Dr. – Longwood, Florida
This is a really fun place to visit, but it is VERY popular and can reach capacity early in the day (which means you get turned away at the gate). They have an open lagoon area for day swimming, cabana rentals, a beautiful large open bar, corn hole, food trucks, canoe rentals… it’s the whole package for a day of fun at the springs whether you’re swimming or not. The bar and food trucks are open late if you just want to skip swimming and hang out for the late afternoon/evening.

Blue Spring
2100 W French Ave. – Orange City, Florida (on the St. John’s River)
We rented a boat to visit Blue Spring. This spring is often crowded from all of the boat traffic on the St. John’s River. If you plan to boat, be patient for “parking” and expect a watery trek through trees to get to the walkway that will lead you to the springs. Straight off the boat, the water was a little higher than ankle deep, about 30 feet from the shore to the walkway. It was about a 1/2 mile walk on the path to the spring.

Alexander Springs – Ocala National Forest
This is a very relaxing spring experience. The blue color of the water is beautiful. There is a grass area and several shelter spaces for picnics, and a couple of benches where you can set up a spot right on the water’s edge. We especially enjoy visiting the little general store for snacks, as it was like stepping back in time. Mainly because they have real Slush Puppies and a variety of familiar frozen treats you could buy at an ice cream truck back in the day.

Silver Glen Springs
Ocala National Forest Salt Springs, Florida
This was an interesting springs experience, because we did not expect to see all the boaters parked right at the far edge of the spring. If you have a small boat or pontoon it might be a fun experience from the boat side too, but expect a crowd – it looked like a boat parking lot out there.

Ponce De Leon Springs, Specifically: The Old Spanish Sugar Mill
601 Ponce Deleon Blvd. – Ponce De Leon Springs, Florida
Okay, so we have never had an experience swimming in these springs because we were too busy making our own pancakes in the old sugar mill! The Old Spanish Sugar Mill is just that, an old sugar mill complete with water wheel, where guests sit at informal tables with built-in griddles where you can cook your own pancakes and eggs! You can order a number of different pancake mix-ins and toppings and it’s a fun experience for the whole family. If you’re not in the cooking mood, you can also order various items like sandwiches, salads, and burgers from the kitchen.
Pro Tip: Get there early or expect a wait, especially on the weekends. Tables fill up fast!

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S Suncoast Blvd – Homosassa, Florida

This was a fun experience for visiting springs in a non-swimmer way. They have a wildlife sanctuary that you get to via ferry from the Visitor Center. The wildlife sanctuary has walking paths that lead you to manatee, wolves, bears, and a lovely garden type area, all in an open natural park setting. The springs also have a large number of wild manatee that settle here when the weather is cooler (winter/spring). We did see boaters in part of the spring, but did not see or experience any open areas for walk up swimming.

PACK A DAY BAG:
If you’re going to have a day of fun and swimming, better be prepared!

SPRINGS VISIT CHECK LIST:
sunblock/sun glasses/sun hat
towels
drinks
snacks
waterproof case
snorkel
floats

Here are some items we found on Amazon that made our springs trips more enjoyable.

Floats! We definitely recommend bringing a small float. Something simple, like a pool noodle so you can float and maneuver with ease. We especially liked using simple submerged chair type floats (shown below). We found large novelty floats and traditional floats too cumbersome in this setting. Mainly because they were a pain to maneuver, especially if there are a lot of swimmers around.

Sun Protection! Don’t let the 72 degree cool spring water fool you, you’ll get burned out there in a snap! Make sure you protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Waterproof! Waterproof phone cases will help you get those Insta-worthy pics without accidentally dropping your phone into the spring. Make sure you read the reviews and find a good one that won’t leak. Waterproof cases are also great for keeping important things like IDs and cash on you – and they come in really handy at traditional water parks too!

Snorkel! To truly experience the crystal clear waters of the springs, you might want a mask that allows you to see more. We love our panoramic mask (style pictured on the middle and left masks), because you can see more, and the breathing tube is attached to the top so you just breathe normally. The mask feels a little more comfortable too.

Where are you going to staycation this summer? Share your Central Florida day fun finds and tips with us on Facebook or Instagram!

Recipes

DeAnna’s Crock Pot Beans

If you’ve ever had this DeAnna specialty in person, you already know it’s an absolute crowd pleaser! The secret is: it’s her spin on another recipe from her favorite vintage Betty Crocker cook book!

Ingredients:

1 cup chunky salsa
1 oz. envelope of taco seasoning
4 (15 oz.) cans of baked beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can of kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can of black eyed peas, drained
9 oz. package of frozen lima beans
12 oz. package of spicy ground pork sausage

Directions: 

  • Cook sausage on stovetop, and drain.
  • Combine cooked sausage and all other ingredients in crock pot, stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours
Curb Appeal

Plants That Keep Pests Away

Mosquitoes and other bugs can become a bother when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors. Did you know you can make your favorite outdoor spaces less desirable to pests with a few simple plants?

Herb Appeal

We’ve learned a lot of the plants that bugs dislike are simple herbs. Which means you can grow a beautiful herb garden for cooking and keep the pests at bay at the same time. Seems like a win-win!

Pops of Color

Lavender is a colorful plant with a popular scent to us humans, but bugs and other pests don’t like it. Marigolds are also great for pops of color but they don’t smell nice to most humans, AND mosquitos, bugs, and snakes. Luckily, we can’t smell them as easy as they can!

Tears of Joy

A lot of the onion and garlic family of plants repel mosquitos, snakes, beetles, snails, mites, and other bugs.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Lemongrass, lemon bee balm, the grass version of Citronella… basically most lemon scented plants in the garden seem to be listed as a bug deterrent. Mint is another scented plant that apparently mosquitos, flies, spiders, ants, and even some snakes dislike.

WITH ANY PLANTS: Always research the plants for care tips, planting needs, and safety precautions. If you are planting in an area used by pets or curious children, be sure to check labels and with a plant specialist for information on what plants may be harmful.

Deter insects from invading the inside of your home:

TRIM
Trim plants away from the house. You don’t want any limbs or leaves touching the house or roof. A good rule of thumb is to keep 1 foot of space between your house and plants. This way, you don’t give the bugs any highways into your home.

EMPTY WATER
Mosquitos love standing water. Drain any planters or lids that may have collected water.

REMOVE OLD LEAVES
Ants love old leaves and brush. Pack it up in paper bags and get it to the curb before they build a tiny ant town in your backyard.

KEEP AN EYE OUT
Use caution when you’re poking around in old leaves and brush or moving pots and lids. That’s often where critters like to hide.

Discarding Yard Waste:

I know it seems like buying those black plastic “yard and lawn” bags, seems like the right thing to buy for yard waste – but they’re not. Yard Waste facilities can’t take/process them. Make life easier for your yard waste collection team (and the environment) by placing it in open garbage cans (plant material only, no trash), paper bags from the grocery store, or purchase large paper yard bags from home improvement stores. We love the ones from Ace Home Improvement, but have also gotten them from Home Depot and Lowes. We even found them on Amazon:

Here’s to enjoying our outdoor spaces! 

Home Hack

HOW TO BE A MORE COMPETITIVE BUYER IN TODAY’S HOT REAL ESTATE MARKET!

Today’s Real Estate market is more competitive than ever before. Sellers are looking for the most qualified offers and buyers. BE PREPARED!

Being “pre-qualified” may not be enough. Loan approvals are often verified by the Sellers’ representatives and a fully documented loan approval may make all the difference in your offer being ACCEPTED!

D&CO. aims to make the loan process as pleasant and efficient for our customers as possible. The more prepared you are at the start, the smoother and more efficient your experience should be.

Loan application information required when you apply for a mortgage loan:

  • Full name, date of birth, social security number
  • Phone number and email address
  • Marital status, number of children and ages
  • Residence history for at least years
  • Employment history for at least 2 years, including addresses, phone numbers and position
  • Asset account balances including checking, savings, investment and retirement accounts

Documentation that will be required to support your loan application:

  • Government issued, unexpired photo ID
  • If you’ve had a bankruptcy in the past seven years, your bankruptcy papers, including all schedules and discharge will be required
  • If you rent, your rent payment and landlord information is required. If you own, all mortgage statements, proof of taxes and insurance are required for ALL properties owned
  • Pay stubs covering the most recent 30-day period
  • 2 years W2 forms
  • If you receive commissions, bonuses, or are self-employed, you must provide 2 years of Federal income tax returns will be required
  • Social security, pension and disability income will require form SSA-1099, award letter and bank statements confirming deposits
  • If you are divorced and receive or pay alimony or child support, a divorce decree will be required
  • Most recent 2 months statements for all bank accounts – you MUST include all pages even if a page says “intentionally left blank” or you think there is no relevant information on that page **all large deposits or transfers will need to be documented
  • If you are receiving gift funds, a gift letter will be required with signatures from all donors and recipients verifying the gift isn’t a loan – the donor’s accounts for verification may be required

Please note: the items listed here are a general guide. Circumstances are different for every individual, so your particular documentation requirements may vary. Your loan officer will guide you through the process to gather all of the items specific to your application.

D&CO. loves guiding customers through the loan process.

Questions? D&CO. is here to help! Contact DeAnna or Kaylie today, to experience why they’re everyone’s favorite mortgage advisors!

Home Hack

Declutter Those Closets – The Practically Painless Way!

This spring cleaning season, make the closet less of a chore with this month’s Home Hack. Use the method below to do a lot of the sorting work for you while you live your normal day-to-day.

Reverse Hanger Trick

Face hanger hook openings toward you…

You simply take all of your clothes that are currently on hangers, and reverse them from their normal way of hanging. To explain, turn the hangers backwards so that the hanger hook opening faces outwards, towards you. (If you already hang your clothes this way, you’ll just make it the opposite.) When you use an item, place it back on the rack with the hanger hook opening facing the wall, away from you. Then as you go through the next month you’ll see what clothes you actually use, and the ones you never touch. The hanger hook openings still facing out are all your potential donations, yard sale, or give-away/hand-me-down items.

You can use this method for shoes as well. Place all of the shoes on the floor, and as you use a pair place them on a shoe rack or in another part of your room. The ones you never touch are the potential donations, yard sale, or hand-me-down items.

Donations

There are some common misconceptions about clothing donations. Here are a few simple rules to help the donation facility of your choosing while you clean your closet at the same time.

  • Only donate clean clothing. Many people assume their donations are cleaned at the donation facility before they sell them. This is false. Most donation places do not have the budget or capacity to clean donated items. Only donate CLEAN clothing and goods.
  • If it’s broken or torn, toss it – don’t donate it. They don’t mend clothing or repair things either.
  • Try to Recycle. Have items you just don’t want to give away? There are shops that actually buy lightly used clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, and even interesting books for “upcycling.” Check with local consignment shops and vintage stores for selling and upcycling opportunities.

Storage Solutions

Once you’ve sorted through your clothes, it’s SO much easier (and kinda fun?) to organize it. There are a lot of cost-effective closet storage solutions out there these days. Ikea has several full closet systems and storage options that are meant to accommodate any size home. We also found some great organizational solutions on Amazon (pictured below).

Easy View Shoe Storage

Simple Dresser Solutions
Simple, and even the stackable utility drawers work great for things like socks, light clothing, and undergarments.

Drawer Organization
Organizers are great for all the things that tend to get jumbled in drawers.


Compact Hangers and Dust Cover Storage
These options aim to take the bulk out of your closet, which should make finding and retrieving clothes so much easier – and make closets feel more spacious too.


Folding the Clothes
If you’d like to have your folded clothes as neat as a store display, folding boards are the trick!

HAPPY SPRING CLEANING!